Health crisis looms in Kilifi as nurses strike begins.

Health crisis looms in Kilifi as nurses strike begins.

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State of Kenya's public health facilities (Courtesy of INB.)

More than 500 unionable medics in Kilifi downed their tools Wednesday demanding promotions and Salary hikes from the county government.

The strike has reportedly paralysed health services in various public health centers across the county leaving many patients in ackward positions.

A 11 year old child was reported to have died in Malindi District hospital following the nurses strike.

Kingi nurses strike
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi

At St. Lukes Hospital in Kaloleni, the medics abandoned their duties to join demonstrations along the streets in Kaloleni in support of the strike.

The Nurses  through their union said abandoning duties was the only option after a year of unfruitful consultations between them and the County government.

Kilifi County branch secretary Evans Ogato said the County Government has been giving them empty promises which they can no longer take any more.

“Come Tuesday midnight, we shall officially start our county wide strike as the final solution to our predicament. We have waited for too long for the consultations which seem to be heading nowhere,” he told Baraka FM on Monday.

Mr Ogato who had been accompanied by the union’s branch treasurer Joseph Mwavita and Chairman Leonard Nassoro had urged Kilifi residents to prepare for tough times ahead saying they are determined to paralyse health services as a way of forcing the County Government to listen to their demands.

The nurses cited poor working conditions at their places of work as other reasons for downing their tools.

They are also demanding for implementation of  long overdue promotions and work designation as well as implementation of the new house allowances approved by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

They want the County Government to address also the problem of acute shortage of health personnel and medical equipments in the county.

“We have only 515 nurses in the whole County. At the moment, a single nurse serves more than 60 patients at ago. We asked the County Government to employ 600 more nurses but only employed 53. The pressure has always been on the few workers available. You can imagine what our nurses in maternity go through with this kid of shortage” said Mr Ogato

The union chairman Leonard Nassoro  alleged that some of their members have been threatened with sack letters in-case they participate in the strike.

“Some of our members have begun receiving threats but that cannot stop us from pursuing our demands. The strike is on and will only be averted if they will listen to our grievances,” he said.

Meanwhile  , Kilifi County Health Executive Rachel Musyoki blamed the union of playing double standards saying the nurses demands were being addressed.

Kilifi Executive Committee Member - Health Services
Racheal Musyoki , Kilifi Executive Committee Member – Health Services.

“Every one is affected with this strike, including me. You can imagine even the day they brought the strike notice, we had had consultations with them in the morning. I thought they would give us sometime to deliberate on the way forward ” said Ms Musyoki

She also confirmed having talked to the Governor Amason Kingi over the political interference  especially from the members of the county assembly.

“The issue of their promotions is being handled by the public service board and the finals list is expected this week. About the house allowances we received two circulars, one from Sarah Serem,  showing their allowances.  Then we received another circular from the treasury, we were deliberating on the two circulars before implementation, but they don’t want to listen to that,”  she said.

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